LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — According to the Arkansas Department of Health, there have been 15 total deaths related to the spread of influenza A and B in the state, with one nursing home confirming a flu outbreak.

The department has confirmed that Arkansas has reported "widespread" activity for the spread of the influenza virus. Since September 29, there have been 7,200 positive flu cases reported to the ADH. 

In the beginning of December, that number was at 1,881 cases.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. The ADH says the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

The Center for Disease Control reported a national total of 27 pediatric deaths.

To learn more about the state-wide flu reports from the ADH click here.

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